Links for the Week of August 20, 2017

A Reason—a Small Reason, But a Reason—Why the Quality of Republican Policy Governance in America Has Fallen So Low

Hieronymus Bosch

On Twitter The hard-working and intelligent Jim Tankersley sends me to:

Reihan Salam "The best 'Why I'm running' statement I've ever read from a GOP candidate": Randy Boyd: Why I'm Running

But Boyd is a joke:

Boyd's Goal #1:

Complete the Drive to 55... 55 percent of the population has some credential past high school by the year 2025. We are only at 39 percent now...

That's 8 years. At the moment (roughly) 0.5% of Volunteers are gaining their Associates degree every year. So doesn't attaining that goal require (roughly) immediately quintupling to 2.5% of Volunteers the number of Volunteers getting Associates degrees every year? Where is the proposed immediate quintupling of the state university system to make this possible? And where are the financing channels and resources to induce people to attend?

Goal #2:

To Be #1 in the Southeast for High Quality Jobs... by reduc[ing] restrictions, regulations and red tape. Sometimes the way government helps business the most is to just get out of the way...

Reducing the size of government is supposed to attract high-quality employers away from Atlanta and Miami and the Research Triangle? What is the mechanism supposed to be here?

Goal #3:

To Have Zero Distressed Counties by 2025.... 17 of our 95 counties are classified as distressed, meaning they are in the bottom 10 percent in the country...

Having zero distressed counties in eight years is a not implausible goal for, say, a Rhode Island, which has only five counties, and has above-average income. But for Tennessee with 95 counties for all of them to sweep the board? And not down to 10% in the bottom 10%, not down to 5%, but down to 0%?

No Democratic technocrat I know would ever propose or approve of a wannabe governor he was advising setting forth three 8-year goals that, like Boyd's, appear almost completely impossible to reach. And to do so without any plausible policy changes to bring them closer and no policy proposals save for "reduc[ing] restrictions, regulations and red tape... government... just get[ting] out 17/

of the way..." Words fail me.

Riehan Salam has been known to complain that the Republican politicians he supports are policy bulls---ters—that they blather on the campaign trail, but then when in office do nothing to better the opportunities and prosperity levels of the people who they induced to elect them.

But here we have Reihan himself endorsing—enthusiastically endorsing, as "The best 'Why I'm running' statement I've ever read from a GOP candidate"—a mountain of policy bullshit of this Olympian height.

Why then should or does he expect the Republican politicians he supports to behave any differently than they do? If Republican policy intellectuals will not draw even a minimal "slightly less than complete policy bull---t" lines in the sand but rather fall over one another to offer enthusiastic support to total policy bull---t, why should any politician ever pay any attention to them?